“Really? Is this the most creative thing you can come up with? Try a new fruit?”

I mean, it’s on the list – but more of a last resort kinda thing.

And I was only two days into my 30-days-of-new-things experimental challenge yesterday at 5:00 P.M.

I’d gotten a late start on my afternoon jog, and despite the fact that it was warm (for this time of year) and sunny out, my jog was kinda shitty and I wasn’t in a great mood. In fact, I wasn’t feeling like even making it through day two. (Guess that’s why they call them “challenges” – ya know, for days like these.) So, I did what I usually do when I’m at a loss for ideas or trying to problem solve, I started pacing through the trails I normally run, brainstorming – like Einstein except without the I.Q. Or goal of perfecting some realm of the sciences for the betterment of humanity. So, off I strolled – sucking in deep refreshing breaths as I surveyed the scenery for anything that might kick off a creative idea. As I passed the bog in which they were bathing, some feathered creatures fled for their lives. A good thing too, since my first thought was how I’ve never captured a wild animal. And then asked it to come live with me. And then interpreted its inability to reply with language as consent.

Birds. I could… buy a bird?

Too noisy. Steal a bird? Or a Bieber? Even noisier… I looked up. Sky. Clouds. Stargazing tonight? Done it. But not with a telescope? Eh, when it gets warmer. I kept walking, avoiding little patches of ice, wondering why – when it’d been almost 60 degrees for most of the day – they still hadn’t melted. Probably too blanketed by the shades of tree branches above them to melt. Wait… branches. Trees!

I’ve never… climbed a tree.

Not unless you count those Walter Mitty-esque opposite-of-fantasies I constantly lapse into where I’m on a run and suddenly see a wolf or a black bear eyeing me in the periphery… and in a split second, I morph into superhuman adrenalized femme bot mode, sprinting toward the nearest oak, suddenly imbued with the capacity to shimmy up bark with ease until Prince Tranquilizer Gun comes to my rescue and then climbs my hair like a vine. Oh…vines. I could get up that way! Against my less-poor judgment (that’s all I’ve got – “bad” and “less bad”), my intrinsic Mowgli almost trusted some deceivingly strong-looking (they weren’t) branchy nature ropes to serve as a scaling assistant. “Eh,” I thought, as I pulled one down nearly falling with it, “That’d’ve been cheating anyway.”

Then I found her. Arms, all pointing up, waiting to hug me in them.

Having (obvi) never done this before, it was a bit of a feat trying to figure out which maneuvers and muscles I’d have to use to get my lower extremities up there – even though it was fairly close to the ground. And then a funny thing happened. My years at the playground, hanging horizontally on those gym bars and doing flips (I was so proud of myself that day in third grade I learned how to do a flip) kicked in. I hugged a side arm firmly, planting my trailer kicks (good grip for a venture like this) in the nook where the other one began. After, that, my inner seven year old told me, “I got this shit” and took over. And I was up.

You know, only two days into this thing and I can see why this needs to go for at least 30 days.

Coming up with – much less accomplishing – a “new” activity isn’t easy, but after you try something that kinda doesn’t come naturally, the whole world takes on a new look. It’s like – however small whatever you’ve done is to others – you get this sudden sensory filter where everything looks, smells, and feels awesome. I’d just had a run where I felt like Tin Man the whole time and came back angrier than when I’d left (rare.) But now, I felt loose, calm, and invigorated. Even the air I breathed felt fresher as colors of everything within view turned vibrant hues. Observations so far are that I’m finding the rush after “something new” to be sorta like being in love – except without the nuisance of wondering when someone’s gonna set the cardiac organ you’ve offered them on a plate to gobble with fava beans and a nice chianti. But, for some reason, that’s really easy to forget within 24 hours. So, I’m hoping it’ll get easier to remember within 30 days of forcing myself to remember.

‘cause I’d really like to make this a habit.